The Underblog

What’s Old is New Again in Television Advertising

Milton Berle Phillies Cigar Spokesperson

 

It’s been nearly eight decades since the first TV commercial break aired for Bulova Watch Co. just before the first pitch of a televised baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies in July 1941. Only two months earlier, the FCC approved of TV commercials. Once brands realized the power of television advertising it was the wild west. Ad Agencies thought they were going to be developing television shows along with all different formats of advertising.

 

In the early days, announcers would step away from the camera to read messages from Procter & Gamble, Goodyear, and more. Sometimes a product would be introduced to the audience from the stars as with Winston cigarettes plugged by Fred Flintstone. Other times, a brand would headline the show, like the 1950s series “The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom.” The singer would introduce the newest model as “the most important guest star of our show.”

 

When you look at the historical arc of broadcast advertising, advertisers have been continuously pushed away from the content of the show and relegated into their 30 second time spot. But that is starting to change. Three trends are forcing networks to look at creative ways to integrate with their advertisers: 1) In 2016, digital ad spending eclipsed television.; 2) Nielsen has recorded an 8 percent drop in prime-time TV viewing among the coveted 18-49 age ; 3) the traditional model has being uprooted by ad-skipping technology and services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. These add up to a big problem for networks.

 

 

Networks and agencies have been forced to innovate or revisit some ideas from yesterday to cope with changes in the media landscape. They are bringing back old favorites like NBC’s Will & Grace and bringing advertisers to the party. With the launch the network and advertiser developed an “innovative” cross-platform partnership. “Will & Grace” prompted Honda to create a 90-second spot that features actors from the show in character, one of whom is driving a new Honda Accord. Another popular NBC show, “This Is Us,” recently joined with State Farm in a similar relationship. The insurer has produced family-themed ads that incorporate flashback sequences like those seen in the drama series. Voiceovers will even be delivered by cast members from the show. The State Farm ads will run during the live airing of the episode as well as video on demand, and the company will see additional distribution through social media and on custom pages on NBC.com.

 

Even late night shows are following this formula. In an effort to avoid being forced to let go of producers on his show due to budget issues, comedian Jimmy Kimmel decided to incorporate brands into segments of his show. While taping a week’s worth of shows in Brooklyn instead of his usual Los Angeles studio, Kimmel filmed a bit where he asked silly questions of local bartenders — complete with a Smirnoff logo on camera. And another late night host, Conan O’Brien, has spent several years pushing video games on his show in a segment called “Clueless Gamer,” where O’Brien and a celebrity guest will play the game on the show with plenty of humorous antics.

 

All that is old is new again in TV land. The concept of program integration by the guys who pay the bills is alive and seems to be working.

 

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The future of voice search should make agencies and brands concerned about their SEO

amazon voice search, atlanta ad agency

Amazon made a splash on Super Bowl Sunday with its event campaign “Alexa Loses Her Voice,” where celebrities filled in for the standard robot voice that Echo users traditionally hear.

 

It’s a clever ad that highlights the functional commands that allow users to engage with Alexa as well as reinforce the popularity of the device. Geekwire reports that as of December 2017, there were 31 million Amazon Echo bases installed in the U.S. alone, with Google Home following with just 14 million but growing fast in units sold.

 

It’s still early for voice interactive search and engagement and the facilitating technologies. But its development is quickly accelerating, leaving some brands and businesses to feel as thought they’re already behind the times.

 

And that’s largely because of SEO – it’s not just for typed text anymore. It’s for voice search, too.

 

Whether at home or on the go, consumers are now able to effortlessly seek information with either a button or by voice command. More importantly to brands, they can also make purchases just as easily, so optimizing SEO for mobile and voice should be a top priority for businesses moving forward.

 

Fortunately, many of the best practices for SEO carry over into voice search. The target for optimization, however, is to be the featured result that voice devices reply with to a user’s inquiry. Because some devices may only reply with a single result, this means achieving “ownership” of a top ranking like Google’s featured snippet, also known as an answer box. The reason this search result is now more valuable than ever is because it will require new thinking on keywords and mobile-first content strategies.

 

Forbes offers three key tips on how to be prepare for this new phase of Web search:

 

Consider speech patterns. When typing on a keyboard, even on a mobile device, users tend to stick with shorthand searches. For example, if I wanted to know the weather forecast for today in Atlanta, I would most likely type “weather Atlanta” or “Atlanta weather.” The results on most search engines or devices would likely give me the current temperature and weather conditions.

 

But if I want to know what the weather was going to like on Friday as I’m making a sandwich, I’d likely say aloud to my nearest Android device, “OK, Google. What’s the weather forecast in Atlanta on Friday?” And I would hear the information I wanted to know.

 

Long-tail keywords. Let’s say you play golf and you’re in the market for a new driver and you want to test it out at a nearby brick-and-mortar store today. You might initially search Google for “golf driver” and see a return SERP full of different brand names and prices for a various makes and models of drivers.

 

Perhaps you know which brand you want based on experience and now you just want to know where you can buy one, so you search for “Callaway golf driver stores in Atlanta.” Google replies with Edwin Watts Golf store in a featured snippet, with its website link, street address, operating hours and 24 reviews – plenty of information that countered the specificity of your search.

 

Agencies and brands should go the extra mile to test and incorporate as many keywords as they can that answer questions their target consumers may ask their smart device through a voice search.

 

Continued emphasis on mobile. A mobile-friendly website is going to keep a brand’s website higher on a SERP than one primarily formatted for a desktop computer. That shouldn’t be news to anyone working on the Web in the past few years, but with a shift toward voice search – especially among younger generations – there will be a growing war for the top results on the SEO battlefield unless agencies can help their clients stay ahead of the curve.

 

Like it or not, voice-activated search is on the horizon and headed our way. Unlike a typical web search, voice search usually comes up with just one or two choices. This could be a huge problem for brands like CPG in the future, especially with Amazon buying Whole Foods and their plethora of private-labeled 365 products. Brands that don’t pay to play will have to pinpoint their SEO to particpate in the voice-activated marketplace in the future. Ad agencies and advertisiers need to get up to speed and keep on top of the information if they want to stay relevant.

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Ad Agencies and Clients Choose Instagram to Reach the Mobile Shopper

Atlanta Advertising Agency, instagram, Social media

 

 

 

Instagram has gone from a simple photo album app to a dominant marketing force in social media. The app, bought by Facebook in 2012, has evolved into a seamless experience that can shares photos, videos and live streaming produced by users to share with their digital followers.

 

TechCrunch said the app eclipsed its closest competitor, Snapchat, in total number of users in just one year after the introduction of Instagram Stories, a feature that allows users to temporarily post select photos and video for 24 hours. Instagram lists on its business site that the app now has more than 500 million daily users and a total audience of more than 800 million. And at least 80 percent of Instagram accounts follow at least one business.

 

For digital marketers, these numbers represent a sea of opportunity, and Instagram’s advertising options can potentially engage all of them with your brand. Instagram provides four different advertising methods: photo, video, carousel and Stories. Each of these options includes, at minimum, a call-to-action link for users to learn more information about your brand or to shop immediately online.

 

Also, there’s an increased level of engagement opportunity with each option. For example, you can upload high-definition videos and, with carousel and Stories, include multiple photos and videos to engage users.

 

With Instagram ads, marketers are given the tools they need to maximize their reach on the platform. They can select basic targeting categories from location, age and gender to clicked interests and behaviors based on Instagram and Facebook activity. They can also refine targeting a step further through custom audiences, using email addresses and phone numbers, and lookalike audiences, which share traits of existing customers.

 

And marketers realize goals by observing data rooted in awareness (reach, frequency, brand awareness), considerations (website clicks, video views) and conversions (website visits, mobile app engagement).

 

The most significant difference between Instagram and other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is that its niche is simplistic mobile-first design and function. The desktop browser version of Instagram doesn’t come with all the advanced bells and whistles that its iPhone/Android counterpart includes such as hashtags and global search. Just like users can find on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram users can search for specific brands by name or hashtags, resulting in a collection of connection posts that feature posts and discussions about a brand and its products or services.

 

Today, even the most passive browsing experiences can lead to engagement and new customers with Instagram. Making it incredibly easy for users to shop while on the go steers users away from the desktop version, thus further pushing digital marketers to always be thinking mobile first advertising.

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AR Nurtures Emotional Engagement for Brands and Consumers

 

Our 21st century technology has gradually produced numerous channels for digital escapism, but none have pushed the boundaries more than recent advances in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
Since its release in summer 2016, Pokémon GO made a splash in the arena of smartphone AR. As an entertainment brand born in the formative years of the millennial generation, Pokémon stretched across video games, playing cards and other merchandise. The AR iteration, however, where players individually or in teams visit real-world locations to “capture” monsters, became the most downloaded mobile game app in 2016 with mass appeal for social connectedness through a nostalgic experience.
Many brands are already developing ways to integrate digital- and real-world engagement to shorten the journey between browser and buyer. Here are a few examples of brands that have already undertaken experiments in AR:
Moxie, an Atlanta-based marketing company, decided in 2017 to forego sending out the traditional holiday cards and candy to clients and vendors. Instead, it decided to experiment with the interactivity of augmented reality with “rapping” giftwrapping paper. With the help of a local muralist and recording artist T-Pain, Moxie sent AR wrapping that, when using the company’s Gift Rap app, featured a singing animation all over the pattern. Such a feature might have made it more difficult to rip up the paper for any gift found inside.
Ikea is pushing the limits of AR by bringing the retail browsing experience directly to your smartphone. Want to see how a coffee table might fit in your living room, or how a futon will look in a guest bedroom? The furniture maker has created a free app that allows users to use their cameras and view any of more than 2,000 products as though it were appearing in a room. The app, called Ikea Place, uses data picked up by your camera to map objects in a room to render a 3-D image of a product at scale with 98 percent accuracy. An AR application like Ikea Place has the potential to streamline the furniture shopping experience – removing the longtime woes of measuring spaces, comparing fabrics and colors, and seeing how the products look in the home only after buying them.
Porsche is aiming to improve its technician services with a set of AR smart glasses used in a process called Tech Live Look. In the event that a technician at any Porsche dealership can’t immediately determine a car’s problem or find the solution, they can use the smart glasses to link with the support team at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. The smart glasses include a high-resolution camera that can examine very small objects among the vehicle’s parts as well as LEDs provide illumination in dark crevices. The support team in Atlanta can send instructions and other assessments directly to the glasses, thus preventing a technician from wasting time with opening an email on a remote computer. With this system, customers can expect to get their cars back faster as the eight dealerships that have implemented this technology have decreased resolution time by 40 percent.
As VR’s focus is largely shifting toward the future of gaming, AR is headed toward disrupting the norms of daily life. Advances in technology and their applications in retail shopping and the producer-consumer relationship will dramatically improve the overall customer experience for a growing number of industries in the near future. Agencies today need to bring clients ideas and examples of how the brand experience can be richer and more personal via AR and VR applications.

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Ad Agencies Moving Rapidly Toward Amazon Service Offering in 2018

Google and Facebook dominate the digital advertising market. Google is expected to make around $40 billion next year off of U.S. advertising, while Facebook should
reach just over half of that at $22 billion. Advertisers and advertising agencies are constantly looking for a third contender for their ad budgets.
Many agencies are investing in personnel and starting to shift a portion of their budgets to Amazon. It’s a bet, but one that is starting to pay off for the early
adopters. Versus Facebook and Google, Amazon owns the entire path to purchase.  Amazon has been subtly executing its ad business to share products, boost sales and
drive website traffic across its platform – which covers a wide range of websites, apps and devices.
Some of the world’s largest ad holding firms are shifting their investments toward advertising on the e-commerce giant’s platform, according to a December 2017
article in The Wall Street Journal. WPP CEO Martin Sorrell told the newspaper that the company is expected to spend $200 million on Amazon ad products and services
in 2018.

It’s a decision made with good reason. The advertising avenues on Amazon include search results and banner ads that until recently had been only used for non-
Amazon products. The reach of Amazon Ad Services should appeal to any agency’s clients. Whether your product is competing with the product sold or is
complimentary to the offering, Amazon provides an advertiser with a moment of impact where the consumer is ready to purchase. Facebook provides targeting and
Google provides search, but Amazon is routed on the centerline of the path to purchase.

In addition to the Amazon shopping site, the company can deliver ads through Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime Music and Kindle Fire. Soon to be announced,
are ads coming over the Amazon Echo. With more and more pressure on advertising ROI, the Amazon ad platform will be able to link from broad based awareness efforts
all the way down to the sale. The viability of Amazon as a real challenger to the duopoly of Facebook and Google is legitimate. Ad agencies should take advantage of this duopoly alternative as online consumerism is only growing. This may turn out to be the most effective way to boost brand awareness and track online efforts all the way down to the purchase.

 

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What is Inbound or Automated Marketing? How Does It Work?

In the 20th century, marketing and advertising were a natural fit in the media culture that was gradually building in America. Old-school marketing methods like door-to-door sales and cold calling were effective but soon replaced with direct mail, billboard, print ads radio and television. These new mediums were adopted not because they were more effective on a one-on-one basis but because they could leverage the message to the masses at a minimal cost per person and harness a larger number of sales.

As the internet evolved, our access to it became more mobile, our eyes and ears redirected from what’s up to what’s down on our handy smart devices. Early advertisers approached this new advertising medium the same way they approached the mass mediums of the past. Display became the norm and consumers reacted with ad blockers and are making it known that they think content should be free and open to all with out paid advertising.

 

Even some video streaming services like Hulu offer options that block ads from appearing before or during any available programming.  Netflix, on the other hand, doesn’t include advertising with any of its streaming programming. Music services like Spotify have similar premium options.  Obstacles like these can shift advertising into a relatively passive experience, which doesn’t help companies reach out to new customers, much less crystalize their brands. When navigating the ever-evolving digital space, what kind of marketing campaign can your company execute to succeed?

The answer depends on the quality and context of your content. Does your content solve a problem? Does it provide information that’s vital to your target audience? Does it at least spark topical conversation? And most importantly, can it convert a prospect into a brand advocate.

How can you leverage your content to build a relationship with the consumer. This is what’s called inbound marketing. A term coined by the co-founder of marketing software developer HubSpot. The methodology behind inbound marketing focuses on:

  • Attracting strangers to your brand by creating personable connections through blogs, keywords and social media messaging to encourage them into visiting your online marketplace.
  • Converting those visitors into leads by inviting them to landing pages where they engage in calls to action or supply simple information, like a name and email address that allows them to receive e-newsletters, which turns visitors into leads.
  • Closing deals that make them customers go from possible to probable after they’ve signed up to receive emailed content that’s relevant and timely to their interests.
  • Delighting new and returning customers with engaging content and access to exclusives, so they feel like a valuable part of the brand and become your regular promoters.

Shared through social media, blogs, video and other interactive engagement tools, content that’s relevant and helpful to your target audience can be your company’s magnet for leads to new and returning customers. Once you attract the lead, the system goes to work with an automated marketing process of content, emails, posts and even display to drive the prospect into a customer. Each step is tracked and can be created with “if-then” scenarios automating the right message based on the prospects behavior. Amazing, right?

If you’re having doubts about the effectiveness of inbound marketing, consider what brands you’ve been drawn to because of online content. HubSpot offers several examples of brands that have successfully implemented inbound marketing. Here are some highlights:

  • Starbucks consistently posts beautiful photography that highlights cup styles, store locations and seasonable flavors. But it also uses the company’s Facebook page to share job postings, contests and features for its mobile app. The Facebook page also includes a store locator in case visitors suddenly are thirsty for a cup of joe.
  • GoPro’s YouTube channel streams videos created by its customers to show off the durability of the mobile cameras in different environments. From jumping from a plane to observing wildlife, the videos highlight the experiences that customers have captured using the company’s products.
  • Airbnb’s personalized emails uses the customer’s search history to notify them when rentals become available in cities they’re interested in visiting. The emails are also timed to remind customers that they should take time to relax and recharge.

These examples reveal some of the best practices behind inbound marketing: the right content at the right place and at the right time. Additionally, the ROI delivered is typically less expensive with inbound marketing than the offline methods. The best marketers and their agencies analyze their results and optimize where necessary to adapt to changing factors and trends relevant to their target audiences.

If you know what’s important to your target audience, then you can develop the right message that will turn today’s strangers into tomorrow’s ambassadors for your brand.

Today, inbound or automated marketing is an important part of any brand’s ecosystem. If you are looking for advice or just want to chat about inbound marketing email Alex to set up a call at Avanwinkle@vanwinkleassociates.com.

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The royalties and loyalties behind effective influencer marketing campaigns

In this digital age of hand-held interconnectivity and hyper media, every single user of technology around the world has the potential to be the next great communicator. And companies want the influence of these communicators to grow their business. Just take a look at these 25 influencers based in Atlanta.

But is an online influencer worth any price? Will influencer marketing add a significant leap in your ROI? What defines a successful influencer marketing campaign?

Influencer marketing has grown overnight to be a popular strategy for businesses looking to extend the reach of their brands and attract new customers. But it’s not as simple as hiring a celebrity to be a voice for your brand and letting it run on autopilot.

When considering an influencer marketing plan, consider these questions:

What are your goals?
To achieve a strong ROI from a influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to understand which key performance indicators match with the strategy. Scrunch.com offers a few pairings of strategies and goals that can deliver results:

  • Brand awareness: This strategy will likely involve giving away a lot of product or services for free to influencers who can promote your business. It may also be worth creating an interactive relationship with potential influencers through exclusive first-look offers or live invitation events.
  • Generate sales: If the company’s intent is to inject some adrenalin into profits, then there are several methods to try. Discount codes, for example, give influencers something to share with their followers, thus generating potential consumers. Influencer marketing can also be reinforced with flash sales that are designed to make consumers worry they will miss out on what other followers could receive before anyone else.
  • Attract new target market: Invest time, money and effort on buzz builders who can drive specific website traffic and make noise about your brand in the digital space you hope to draw new paying customers.
  • Increase social media followers: For example, announce a competition on Instagram that asks followers to use a specific hashtag in their posts related to your brand in order to win a prize. You can additionally promote the competition by telling influencers that they can also enter and then encourage their followers to also enter. By focusing on growing a specific social media platform, your social following will grow as will their interest in your brand.
  • Customer retention: If you have built a strong relationship with an influencer, then you’ve potentially built a strong relationship with their followers as well. This transforms your influencer into a brand ambassador who can continue promoting your product, which can lead to repeat purchases.

 

Who can best represent or endorse your brand?

A positive endorsement of a product by a trusted personality can make a greater impact than even the most beautifully written copy or the most engaging video, according to Convince&Convert. Niche-based communicators could be potential brand ambassadors based on the relevance of their content to your brand, the traffic or new and returning visitors and consistency for posting new and authentic content. If your influencer can use multimedia digital content to extend the loyalty they’ve built with their audiences to your brand or product, then everyone wins.

 

What defines a “successful” influencer marketing campaign?

“The first step for measuring anything accurately is starting with clear goals,” writes Deep Patel on Forbes.com. If the goal of your campaign is to “gain more followers” or “get more clicks on the website,” then success may be vague. By establishing specific metrics, like “increase sales by 10% each month” or “collect 2,000 new Twitter followers,” there is more opportunity for measureable achievement.

 

Success isn’t always guaranteed, but investments of time and knowledge in your brand, your audience and your influencers can deliver a lot of promise. As Intuit co-founder Scott Cook infamously stated, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other.”

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Curated content without consistency doesn’t make a brand for all time

If content is king, then consistency is the ruthless queen.

Excellent communication in advertising and marketing requires a strict discipline to the rules of style. The public doesn’t take kindly to grammar and spelling mistakes or random, disconnected visual elements. Such errors can instantly lessen the value of a brand or product and risks driving the audience away, never to return.

A brand only succeeds if its style is consistently applied across all ads, websites and social media. So how do you establish consistency? Here are a few factors to consider as you’re making choices about your brand’s identity.

Start by using styles already available
There are already established editorial style guides that many content creators follow to deliver consistent, high quality messaging. Guides like The Chicago Manual of Style and The Associated Press Stylebook are largely used by news media, but they are also among the best examples of organization for rules and policies related to editorial standards. Since media advertising plays a prominent role in branding, it’s worth referencing one of these media industry popular style guides as groundwork for your internal and external communication rules.

What terminology makes up your brand?
You can only create standards if everyone is on the same page about your brand- and industry-specific terms and phrases. The Chicago and AP books include standards for how to display numbers (using numerals vs. words), how to address cities and states, and other proper and common terminology. Start here, then decide what rules need to be applied to your brand. Once you’ve established your in-house editorial rules for advertising and marketing, commit to them.

A brand to remember
Consistency shouldn’t be limited to advertising alone. The brand of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola has sustained for more than a century—thanks to several design aesthetics that have been consistently applied in its television, audio, print, outdoor, social media and opinion leadership. According to Small Business Trends, the brand’s logo has used the Spencerian script font, clear white text, and bright red background with great success since 1885. Use fonts, colors and graphics to create a logo and brand that work across all platforms and can also stand the test of time.
According to Pew Research in November 2016, 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone—nearly 250 million people who are waiting to see a company’s brand on responsive websites, apps and social media. HireRabbit notes that brand consistency across the web can inspire name recall, deliver strong messaging from one platform to another and eliminate confusion with your competition. Whether your brand is part of a tweet marking a special occasion or pops up in an ad after you win a round of Angry Birds, your consistent brand can stay with users even when they put away their iPhones.

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Go North Young Man

Silver, Andy and Melanie judging the Mid-Michigan Addy Awards.

 

Heeding the call to judge the Addys of the great wild north.

Every creative loves awards, and you should gird your loins around those who say they don’t. They’re a fantastic measuring stick for the high standard of quality we toil over day to day. Its icing on the cake that when they’re recognized by peers in the industry. But, far less creatives, love judging award shows. This is where I’m cut from a different cloth.

Award shows, especially hyper local ones, have a reputation for fewer entries we’d call killer by standards set by The One Show, CA and the like. Its hard to argue that stuff coming out of Little Rock or Cheboygan could ever compete with work produced in larger markets by larger agencies. This is where I want to prove that notion utterly wrong.  I have been trying to do so for the last 10 years or so making my way around the local Addy judging circuit.
Often, I leave a judging weekend super impressed with creative efforts emerging from markets you wouldn’t consider perennial advertising powerhouses or even sesquicentennial powerhouses. That’s the beauty of what we do, no matter where you are, or what agency you call home, the originality of an idea transcends regionality and agency size.
Over a month ago, I had the pleasure of joining Andy Azula, Executive Creative Director of The Martin Agency, and Melanie Weisenthal, Principal at Deerfield Design NYC, to judge the Addy awards for the Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance in Lansing, Michigan. We met the entrants in a casual Q&A session at a local brewery the night before judging. One of the big themes addressed regionality as a measurement for creative worth.
My argument reinforced that great thinking can exist anywhere. It doesn’t matter that agencies in smaller markets don’t have armies of retouchers, or the deep pockets of a global holding company. In fact,  creativity often flourishes when given a small sandbox to play in. Limits force you to be more creative and arrive at solutions with less tools available. In Michigan, we judged some of the best design work I’ve seen in any advertising annual or show.
Its markets like this that force every creative to adopt a pioneer  attitude to work. They make the work  and they demand nothing but the best because they are the ones on the frontier. The next time you find yourself in Duluth or Sioux Falls, search for the local shops carving out their own paths in the advertising landscape. The work is wild.

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Make Your Marketing Program Compete Like a Bracket Champ

BrackeHeadlineMarch Madness is in full gear and everywhere there are examples of teams that do a little more to advance to the next round. This bracket mishmash reminds me of today’s competitive marketing landscape. Assuming each brand in a category spends the same percentage of their gross sales on marketing. How can new brands grow and larger brands lose share and fall to the bottom of the ladder? We have to look at some of the same elements that allow NCAA teams to advance and become champions in their space.

 

A Disciplined Approach

It’s funny how some marketing programs seem like they are haphazardly thrown into the fray. The website doesn’t look like the storefront or the social posts look like they came out of a catalog. Brands need to become disciplined about how they go to market. Process driven planning is a lot like college basketball teams preparing by reviewing tape before the game. A disciplined process creates a solid execution plan. This results in a deeper understanding of the competition, a more thoughtful plan addressing their strengths, and a dedicated strategy to commit resources in the strongest way possible.

Create Opportunity

Teams that advance do so by creating opportunity when they need it most. Every game is full of opportunities. In basketball, opportunities are created through fouls, officials, a hot hand, or coaches influence of what happens on the floor. Consumers are ever changing. Any brand marketing to an 18-39 year old female is losing ground. Today, brands must create opportunity by determining which 18-49 year old females are their customers. they must learn everything about who they are, what they like, and how they buy. Solid digital analytics provides an exact profile of the prospect and their behavior. A good creative agency will push you for data and build a fluid portrait of your consumer. Brands should live within their consumer’s world. When brands connect, the opportunity to influence decision making becomes reality. Find out the prospects interests, and make them a relevant part of your communication.

Get Scrappy

The tournament is a battle of near equals. The intangible factors that influence victory reveal themselves in phrases like “you gotta want it more” or “it was all about hustle”. These same intangibles will get you ahead in the marketing game. The little things make you stand out where others melt into the crowd. This is never more evident in the world of sponsorship management. As a mid-sized Atlanta ad agency, VWA’s national and regional clients are often up against global brands with deep pockets. That puts our full service agency up against network agency sports marketing divisions. It’s amazing how much these guys leave on the table. They are so caught up in the contract negotiation that the hustle never enters their minds. Smaller players realize more by squeeze every drop out of sponsorship opportunities. Hand out samples. Present a hospitality team at events. Bring unique and creative added value solutions to media buys. And the all time air ball by big agency networks. Set up a social media team to leverage your investment and produce content for the future.

In the next few weeks, you will observe how these primary factors dictate the wins from the loses. If you apply these same elements to your marketing plans, you will win at the game of marketing one bracket at a time. The biggest and the strongest will go down in the tournament. Pay attention to the underdogs and how they execute their game.

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